Northern Liberties Engagement Session | Shannon + Dan
I haven’t shared this on my blog yet, so apologies for getting a bit heavy before sharing photos from Shannon and Dan’s engagement session in Northern Liberties.
Back in mid-October, I had a random seizure, which led to a ton of tests during a blurry few days. Doctors discovered a lesion on my right frontal lobe and told me I’d need brain surgery. A McDonald’s-fueled, midnight ambulance transfer landed me at Penn, where I would have a craniotomy that afternoon. Pro tip: always go with the hospital that says you won’t need to be awake for brain surgery. The neurosurgeon removed the lesion, which luckily ended up being a random infection. After months of follow-up tests, it seems like I’ll probably never know the original source of the infection.
But brain surgery meant having to take time off during the busy fall season to recover. Due to nerve damage, I lost mobility in my left hand and arm for weeks. Three months later, part of my palm and wrist are still numb and tingly, but I’ve almost completely regained the strength in my left hand. I rang in the new year being incredibly proud of myself for finally being able to do the Vulcan salute again.
Unfortunately, Shannon and Dan’s wedding landed in the span of time I needed to focus on recovery. During the six weeks after surgery, I wasn’t able to lift more than 5-10 pounds (aka my children) or bend. It meant having to pass along amazing clients to my friend and talented photographer, Nellie. Shannon and Dan were so supportive and understanding, it made me even more grateful that we connected.
It’s been so nice being able to get back into shooting and feeling like a person again. As excited as I was to lift my gear bag, nothing will beat the feeling that washed over me as I was finally able to pick up my kids again. As cliché as it sounds, I really didn’t realize how good I had it until I lost it. But now I do and it’s changed how I shoot, parent, and wake up in the morning.
Potential clients would always ask me if I had a backup plan if something went wrong or if I got sick. I’d usually laugh it off and explain that I’d shot weddings while 8-months-pregnant or with pneumonia (twice!). I always have an emergency plan in place with a tight group of vendor friends, but I never saw myself having to surrender control in that way. It means a lot to me how much I was able to lean on the wedding community when I needed them, especially my friend Nellie, who made everything effortless. It’s really hard to know what the future holds, so I’m going to treasure every minute photographing people and documenting milestones.
Anyway, this is all a long-winded way of saying thank you. Not only to Shannon and Dan, and Nellie, but to everyone who has reached out with words of support and encouragement. It feels good to be back on my feet and I’m hopeful for what 2020 brings. I’m even grateful for my awkward peach fuzz that’s growing back where my scar now sits.
Without further ado, here are my favorites from this Northern Liberties engagement session. Belated congrats to the newlyweds as well!